get high contrast in sunlight ?

Discussion in 'Portraits and Fashion' started by ayesha_collenette, Jan 27, 2010.

  1. [​IMG] hello -
    this may be an easy one for you guys - but I'm new - pleeeeeease if anyone has ideas - how do I get high contrast and brightness of colour like the pics in the link?? is it exposure or photoshop? I'm finding that shooting in sunlight washes out and mutes tones - love this high contrast, high impact style??
    any thoughts?
    thanks in advance for your time and knowledge!!
    it's the large photos on the left of this blog site - did have better examples but finding simple links was not so easy - thanks!
  2. HAha. Try lights. LOTS of lights! Alt: Use Photoshop to plaster photos of models, taken in a studio under lights, onto an outdoor scene. This isn't even well done. It looks like they were cut out of a magazine with scissors.
  3. generally you get higher contrast when your (day)light source on your subject is direct sunlight, no clouds, such that your lighting source size is relatively small. of course you want the light reflected off of your subject/model, and not have light rays directly entering the camera lens and generating lens/camera flare (I suspect this might be causing the washing out that you've experienced?). . .smaller apertures might help with that. there is likely some post processing involved in these images to set the final brightness levels of the colors
  4. It sounds like you overexpose, try the old rule "sunny 16" f16 the same time you have put your iso on test and fine-tune if needed.
    The problem of direct sunlight is normaly that the contrast is too high, the sun tends to give good color in the middle of the day if you step down.
    check this out, it´s about strobes but some part is about sunlight too.
  5. Thank you - so impressed that you are all so willing to help share your knowledge. This is prob better link
    wasn't really meaning the cut-and-paste pics - will try fiddling with iso - just found it tricky to get nice dark shadows and bright sparkly highlights - but guess more exposure experiment is neccessary - thanks again!
  6. Ayesha,
    I today's age of digital cameras, I will make the assumption that you are shooting digital rather than film.
    If you were shooting film, especially transparency film, you would be dealing not only with the angle and the brightness of the sun, but also with something called saturation with has to do with exposure and film response. Often with transparency film you simply underexpose by about 1/2 stop which intensifies skin tone and deepens shadows, thus giving wonderfully saturated tones in the colors and contrast.
    In digital, try setting your +/- control on your digital to about -.3 or more and see what happens. Then vary up and down on the settings and see which ones satisfy your aesthetic needs. This may be the easiest way to avoid having to make corrections in Photoshop.
    If you are including areas of sky and want more intense blues, buy a Polarizing filter designed for digital work and learn when to use it. It's best effects occur when the sun is at 90 degrees to the angle you are shooting, although lesser effects occur as you get farther away from that 90 degrees. In case you are not familiar with polarization, it works by removing surface glare (not reflections) from most surfaces in you image. That includes everything from water, to glass, to skin, leaves and so on up to and including the trillions of microscopic water droplets that turn sky blue. When that surface glare is removed, the pure color or tone that lies behind the glare is revealed which also increases saturation.
    Good luck.
  7. whoever shot was very Influenced by Helmut Newton eg the crutches
    in some of the frames.
    Newton always used film not digital, in fact to the end of his career he used cheap canon anf minoltas.
    There are plenty of vids on youtube of Newton in action.
    But, this is the point, he almost always shot at mid-day under the noon sun
    just as your sample shooter did.
    Thats how you get the contrast you require.
    Its as simple as that.
  8. Fantastic!! All very helpful advice - i see what you mean about Helmut newton - very interesting - I knew a bit about hard light/ direct sunlight but didn;t realise precise time of day was so important - makes sense !
    Have been checking out youtube more thanks to you guys.. and experimenting with exposure - (just need the sun to come out!! grrr) yes, I am learning with digi as its so easy to see instantly whats good - or bad! but will then apply it to film, once im a bit better - definitely want to try slide -
    Much appreciated - thanks for your time all
  9. what seems so natural usually is also controlled
    especially with digital cameras you still can't achieve the many nuances you would have with film
    maybe with a very, very expensive camera - but I guess no one here has such
    full sunlight is brutal and would totally blow out the colors on the reflection reas of the skin
    you have to make use of clouds, or the soft shades provided by branches of trees ... and still get contrast
    the outdoor photos in the links provided, don't seem like full sunlight
    e.g. the reflections in the water would be way more intense with bright sunlight
    it seems to me like they "tuned it down" a bit with a huge, but very transparent diffuser

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